jrBlog Theme Options

Just a basic preview of my Theme Options Social Media panel.

As I put together the finishing touches on this awesome Theme Options settings to automatically add social media sharing buttons and icons to my website theme, I’m also thinking about how I can advertise myself better. I certainly haven’t been doing a good job of keeping this blog updated, but I’m going to try and maintain it better from now on.

There are numerous ways to advertise yourself. Even programmers need to have a way to promote themselves better, and that’s something I’ve found difficult. I do know, though, that a good way to do that is through Social Media.

What Social Media Sites Should I Use?

Choosing the right sites depends on what your goals are. For me, I’ve added quite a few. All of the common ones are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Except for Google+, I’ve been on all of these websites for some time. I also added Github, MySpace, Behance, and Stack Overflow to my list. I’ve also got my own Feedburner RSS feed, too.

jrConway Facebook Page

The Facebook Page I created for my website.

Facebook and Twitter are always the first two sites people pick. I’ve maintained some presence on them for several years. Facebook is obvious; its the biggest site out there and you should definitely be using it. I’ve even created a page on Facebook for this website, and all posts I submit here will automatically be linked on that page. I have the same set up for Twitter, so I can easily tell others following me about my latest posts, and I will continue to do this on future websites I create.

Google+ is generally the third choice. For me, I felt that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn was enough, so I really wasn’t planning on adding myself to Google+. I finally caved, though, when all of my fellow Yazamo developers joined as well and I was invited to join, too. It is helpful, though, because Google+ is one of the top 5 social media sites. I’ve got a social media share button for Google+ as well. In addition, setting up Google Authorship is a nice feature as any of your posts online will show your photo in search results, which is known to increase hits.

My LinkedIn Profile

This is my current LinkedIn Profile, though it may be slightly outdated.

LinkedIn and Behance are two sites I’m currently linking to for professional reasons. I’m going to next go through both sites and get my portfolio up-to-date. LinkedIn is a common social site, but even then its not used as often as other sites, even though it should be. I even added a social share button for LinkedIn as well. Behance, on the other hand, is relatively uncommon to be linked to from what I’ve seen, but it is very much up-and-coming and is where my portfolio is going to primarily be in the future. Behance is definitely the way of the future for online portfolios.

Despite what it may seem, MySpace is still in the top 5 most-used social media sites. MySpace is the first ever social media site I have used, but like many I left MySpace years ago. In order to promote myself better I decided to add myself to MySpace again. I don’t know how well I’ll keep up, but it definitely looks much better than it did all those years ago. Now if only I can figure out how to post on all sites at once…

jrConway on Github

Haven’t been as active on Github as I’d like, but I’m trying to get back in and update more often.

I added Github and Stack Overflow as these sites are extremely useful for programmers. I haven’t been on Github very long, but I am definitely trying to expand myself better there. Its definitely a true social media site, in this case for community-driven open source projects. Stack Overflow, on the other hand, I don’t consider a social media site. However, it is very helpful for developers seeking answers to problems. I tend to end up falling back on Stack Overflow if I can’t figure something out, but I really need to be using it more actively.

How Do I Add Social Share Buttons?

As a developer, I’m commonly asked to add social sha

Launch Education Social Buttons

On this site I added the social share buttons beneath the blog posts.

re buttons and social media buttons to websites. Getting the design just right can be extremely difficult due to how the buttons are being generated. Typically, they are all generated through Javascript, and if you just add them directly to the page, they will look horrible and won’t be correctly aligned.

Getting them aligned correctly is problematic. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn really don’t make their buttons very easy to position on the page properly, especially if you set them right next to each other. I’ve found that this is a good solution:

.site-content .entry-social div,
.site-content .entry-social iframe,
.site-content .entry-social .IN-widget {
display: inline-block;
vertical-align: middle !important;
text-align: left;
width: 110px !important;
height: 20px;
}

This is the CSS code I am using for all four buttons on my site. The two divs are for Google+ and Facebook, the iframe is Twitter, and the .IN-widget is LinkedIn. LinkedIn was very annoying; its using <span> tags.

For the width, I had to set that because twitter has an annoyingly wide width.

All of them are displayed as an inline-block so they’re all on the same level, otherwise certain buttons would be getting shoved down and off the same line. As noted above, LinkedIn’s <span> tag needs the inline-block especially since <span> is not a block element.

Finally, the height of 20 pixels is to prevent the buttons from causing the entire web page to “jump” as the Javascript is loading. To keep things consistent, you should always use the 20 pixel tall buttons. Twitter doesn’t have any smaller buttons than that, so Google Plus’s small buttons definitely wouldn’t work. I don’t think LinkedIn has any extra options at all.

Adding Follow Icons

IconDock Social Icons

I got my free social icons from IconDock, but feel free to check out their other premium icons as well.

In addition to adding share buttons, you should also have follow buttons to your web page on all available sites. Any icons will do, but try to keep a consistent size. I’m currently using 24 x 24 pixel buttons, and I think these work very well.

I got all my buttons from IconDock. Be sure to take a look at there list. Of course, there are plenty of other sources for social buttons as well, so if you don’t like Icon Dock’s buttons, you still have plenty of options to choose from.

Also, don’t forget to add a link to your RSS feed! If you really want a quality feed, you definitely want to use Feedburner. Typically, RSS feeds go along with other follow icons, and IconDock also providers icons for both FeedBurner and RSS, too. WordPress comes built-in with RSS feeds, but it pales in comparison to Feedburner.

You can even check out my own RSS feed. I’m going to keep updating this blog regularly, so subscribe to my feed to stay up-to-date.